REEDLEY, CA – Kings Canyon Unified School District’s Navelencia Middle School was recently named a California Gold Ribbon School by the California Department of Education. Navelencia was one of only seven middle schools and high schools in Fresno County to be recognized. A ceremony was held on May 17 in Visalia to present the award.
“I am very proud of our students and staff for their hard work and dedication to Navelencia,” said Navelencia Principal Josh Darnell. “Other schools within KCUSD have received recognition for their academic excellence in the past and it is great to see Navelencia Middle School added to that list of outstanding schools that have been recognized by the state.”
The Gold Ribbon Awards recognize California schools that have made gains in implementing the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. These include the California Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics, California English Language Development Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards.
According to Darnell, schools that applied had to certify that their percentage of students who met or exceeded standards on the English Language Arts (ELA) and the Math Smarter Balanced Assessment for the 2015-16 testing cycle was higher than the statewide average for the same grade span.
After initial qualification, schools had to complete a written application highlighting an outstanding program or practice that can be replicated by other schools. The practices can be in teaching, learning, collaboration as well as improvements to discipline practices or other areas related to school climate. Navelencia chose to focus on Reading Intervention, including how they assess and provide appropriate reading instruction for their students at the individual level. Applications that scored well then received a site visit conducted by the county office of education. The visitation teams provided their recommendations to the state as to who should receive the award.
Navelencia staff has worked very hard to ensure students' academic success. They spend countless hours working outside of their contracted time to make sure students are getting the best education possible. Students have also been working very hard to apply the skills and knowledge that the teachers have provided them by performing well in the classroom and on state assessments.
Both staff and students were excited to receive the award. Many of the students were asked to be a part of the application process and were interviewed by the county's site validation team.“These students are especially excited as they were able to see their hard work pay off,” said Darnell.